New Orleans bans Mardi Gras parades for 2021
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New Orleans has banned parades for the 2021 Mardi Gras celebration as the city grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, officials have announced.

City officials on Tuesday tweeted out guidance for the upcoming Mardi Gras in February that included a photo with text stating that there would be "no parades in 2021."

The photo said that the upcoming "Mardi Gras is different" but "not cancelled."

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A section of New Orleans Mayor LaToya CantrellLaToya CantrellNew Orleans bans Mardi Gras parades for 2021 Cities say organizers didn't get permit for Christian music festivals 2 dead as Hurricane Zeta makes landfall in New Orleans MORE’s (D) website on Mardi Gras 2021 also says that "parades of any kind" will be prohibited.

“Parades of any kind will not be permitted this year because large gatherings have proven to be super spreader events of the COVID-19 virus,” reads the FAQ.

Cantrell’s office had posted Mardi Gras guidance on Monday. The city’s release does not mention parades, but portions of the statement were included in tweets on Tuesday.

“Mardi Gras is more than just king cakes and beads, it is a religious holiday, a season of traditions that we celebrate every year, a time that the community comes together in formal, fun, and often unexpected ways,” the city wrote. 

“With COVID-19 cases increasing around the country, we will have to modify how to observe carnival season to be safe for everyone,” it continued.

Officials noted that health experts expect a "winter spike" in December and January “right when our carnival calendars get rolling.”

In their Monday statement, city officials requested recommendations for safety protocols during Mardi Gras so there wouldn’t be “unstructured crowds of strangers.”

The mayor reportedly suggested in a November meeting that organizers should emphasize televised events and keep floats stationary to limit the spread of COVID-19, according to NOLA.com.

Further south, organizers of the Independent League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro festival have postponed the carnival from February to July due to the pandemic, France 24 reported.

The Hill reached out to New Orleans officials for further comment on the Mardi Gras guidelines.